DEI Terms & Definitions
Diversity: The wide range of human characteristics used to mark or identify individual and group identities; refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. These characteristics/differences include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and national origin.
Diversity is shorthand for visible and quantifiable statuses, but diversity of thought and ways of knowing, being, and doing are also understood as natural, valued, and desired states, the presence of which benefit organizations, workplaces, and society.
Inclusion, Inclusivity: Encompassing all; taking every individual’s experience and identity into account; creating conditions where all feel accepted, safe, empowered, supported, and affirmed; expanding the sense of community to include all and giving all an equal voice. Being inclusive means ensuring co-ownership and shared responsibility among all members of the school community. It authorizes individuals to carry out their role or roles successfully.
Equity: The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, parents/guardians, faculty, and staff in every stage of FSA/SI education and development, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate structural/institutional barriers that have prevented the full participation of marginalized groups.
Equity is not equality; it is the expression of justice, ethics, multipartiality, and the absence of discrimination.
Cultural Competency: The application of a defined set of values, principles, skills, attitudes, policies, and behaviors that enable individuals and groups to work effectively across cultures. Cultural competence is a developmental process (and continuum) that evolves over time for both individuals and organizations.
Cultural competency is defined as having the capacity to
- value diversity,
- conduct self-assessment,
- manage the dynamics of difference,
- acquire and apply cultural knowledge, and
- adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities in which one lives and serves.
Social Justice: A vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. Social justice involves social actors who have a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others and the society as a whole.